The Victims of the Super Bowl and the Olympics

February is a huge month in the sporting world. The month starts off with the Super Bowl taking place in New Jersey (really New York hosting, but whatever) and then the whole world will watch their athletes compete in the Sochi Olympics. Each event will be a grand spectacle of everything we love. Mind boggling athleticism, determination, years of hard work, heart warming stories of triumph and the agony of defeat will captivate a global audience. The Olympics and the Super Bowl will showcase the very best of athletic competition.

Unfortunately, these events also showcase the very worst in humanity. These events will be a nightmare for untold numbers of trafficked women, children and men brought into the New York area and into Russia to provide sex for attendees. The Super Bowl has long been known as perhaps the worst sex trafficking event that takes place in the U.S. each year. Prostitutes will be brought in from around the country (and probably from around the globe) to service the demand for illicit sex that accompanies the Super Bowl. Authorities in New Jersey are already combatting the issue.

In Russia, the issues are varied. With many Olympic events there are issues about migrant workers who have been trafficked in order to build the stadiums necessary to host the Olympics. The number of abused and unpaid workers preparing for Sochi became so bad that the Russian government (not known for stepping in and fighting trafficking) has vowed to make sure workers receive their pay. In regards to sex trafficking, Russia, and many of it’s nearby neighbors are already on watch lists for the prevalence of trafficking. Russia has at least pledged to step up efforts to combat the issue, but the situation there is very ugly.

So while we are all enjoying the beautiful brutality and splendor of the athletic spectacle we call the Super Bowl let’s not forget the ugly brutality and inhuman spectacle taking place on the street, in hotel rooms and in hidden brothels all around New York area. And during the Olympics while we enjoy rooting for athletes whose names we had never heard last week in sports we will forget about by March let’s not forget the price of this world wide event. Countless workers because they had no choice or because they wanted a shot at a better life, labored unsafely, for meager wages, in order for beautiful stadiums to be built. While tens of thousands are sitting in stadiums praising the heroic efforts of the athletes they watch, thousands of others will be victimizing women, children, and men who would give anything to be somewhere else during the Olympics.

In our broken world there is a dark side to just about everything. Let us never allow ignorance to be our excuse for failing to shine the light of truth into these dark places–during Super Bowl week, throughout the Olympic Games, and every day of the year.

Blog courtesy of Greg Arthur, Free The Girls Board Member

Blog originally published online at Holiness Reeducation

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